OFFICIAL STATEMENT 091
5th Ministerial Meeting of Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament

​Today, under the co-presidency of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, the 5th Ministerial Meeting of Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament was held, attended by ministers from Argentina, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

14/12/2021

The ministers reflected jointly on the work of the Stockholm Initiative since its creation in 2019, and reiterated their unequivocal commitment to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to be held from 4 to 28 January 2022:

“The upcoming Review Conference of the NPT, two years on from the 50th anniversary of the Treaty, offers us the chance to demonstrate political leadership to comply with its commitments and welcome the achievements made under this Treaty, and to undertake the decisive path towards a world free of nuclear weapons with a view to the survival of mankind. We remain united in our determination to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons in an irreversible, verifiable and transparent fashion, and to reduce the risks they pose in the meantime.

The upcoming Review Conference of the NPT is a unique opportunity for all States to show their level of commitment to nuclear disarmament. The Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament has set a viable course for achieving this aim. We offer our full support to Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, President-designate of the Review Conference, in his organisation of the work of the delegations to thus achieve the lasting success of the Treaty.

The message we will convey at the Review Conference will be clear: those States with nuclear weapons must promote nuclear disarmament, pursuant to the provisions of Article VI of the Treaty. The way to do this is to push through the positive and fundamental measures contained in the Stepping Stones and the Nuclear Risk Reduction Package adopted by the Stockholm Initiative, with the support of a growing number of State Parties to the NPT, and to present a plan with a future outlook to speed up the path towards nuclear disarmament.

As well as the Member States of the Stockholm Initiative, we welcome the 20 State Parties to the NPT that have formally aligned themselves with the Initiative’s documents. We encourage all State Parties to harness both the spirit and the practical ideas contained in these documents, particularly when drafting the conclusions of the Review Conference”.

The ministers welcomed the extension of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (new START) between the United States of America and Russia in January 2021, along with the Presidential Joint Statement of June 2021 announcing Dialogue on Strategic Stability between these two countries, which includes the following statement, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. This is a positive development that responds to two of the practical steps towards nuclear disarmament provided for in the Stockholm Initiative. The ministers also highlighted the Summit between the United States and China held on 16 November 2021.

Progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work to do. The ministers agreed that the five countries with nuclear weapons recognised in the NPT must continue reducing their nuclear arsenals, given their special responsibility under the Treaty. The lack of intent to disarm by other States that possess nuclear weapons is also clear and well-known.

The re-establishment of trust between States with nuclear weapons will help bring an end to the long-standing paralysis in the process of global disarmament.

The ministers urged all States that possess these weapons to adopt clear and decisive measures that pave the way to agreements on the control of next generation weapons, reduce or help reduce nuclear arsenals and show leadership in bringing to an end, once and for all, explosions from the testing of nuclear weapons, and to table negotiations for a treaty that bans the production of fissile material and backs the efforts geared towards developing multilateral nuclear disarmament verification capacities.

The Stockholm Initiative drew up the Stepping Stones to promote nuclear disarmament and a Nuclear Risk Reduction Package with the express aim of re-establishing trust and of fostering progress through such positive measures as transparency in regard to nuclear arsenals, the reduction of the role of nuclear weapons in security and defence policies, and to stepping up dialogue. The ministers indicated the reduction of nuclear risks as a field that is particularly pressing, and discussed specific measures to reduce risks and avoid escalation, with the aim of promoting the supreme goal of nuclear disarmament.

The ministers also took note of the conclusions of the meeting of the P5 leaders held in Paris, and urged States with nuclear weapons to make full use of the P5 format, and to develop this further to promote more specific objectives at the upcoming Review Conference and during the next NPT cycle.

Through the “Stepping Stones to promote nuclear disarmament”, the ministers also seek to attract younger generations through platforms for dialogue, tutoring programmes, work experience, grants, events and activities for youth groups. They made a new call for visits and interaction with communities affected by nuclear weapons, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and former nuclear test sites such as Semipalatinsk and the Pacific Ocean. They reaffirmed their determination to integrate a diverse gender perspective and promote the full and effective participation of women in decision making on nuclear disarmament.

The ministers also undertook to seek new and innovative ways to promote nuclear disarmament to tackle the challenges they pose. They decided to harness the weeks leading up to the Review Conference to the maximum, along with the Conference itself, with the specific aim of bolstering the Stepping Stones and the Nuclear Risk Reduction Package.

The ministers stressed the need for a permanent commitment to the provisions of Article VI of the Treaty, including in the wake of the Review Conference of January 2022, to guarantee full compliance with the obligations taken on and to promote a greater commitment to global nuclear disarmament.

In conclusion, the ministers stressed that they also commit to boosting cooperation in the full spectrum of opportunities and challenges that the nuclear question poses, including peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the response to the challenge of proliferation.

 

 

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

 



 

 

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